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Essay: Plato’s The Symposium

Sample Essay

Plato’s Symposium is a philosophical tome written by him. The book details the various intricacies of love including its nature and its place in society, its very purpose. They speak of love through details given of the God known as Eros. Eros or Aros in Greek mythology was considered the God of lust, beauty, love and intercourse. On another level it also speaks of knowledge and the how it fits into the realm of human existence. The book is written in the form of a dinner party, more specifically Agathon’s symposium. It was held to celebrate his victory in his first dramatic competition, the Dionysia. The details of this symposium were heard by Plato through various intermediaries. He writes the book from the perspective of being told the story through a man known as Aristodemus.

It was not unusual for such dinner parties to have entertainment during the meal in the form of women and pipe players. However in this one instance it was decided that during the meal each person should give their thoughts on what they believed love is. There were seven participants in all starting from Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates and finally Alcibiades.

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